honest opinion on mower

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by okgrassguy, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. okgrassguy

    okgrassguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Hello everyone!
    Next year I will be starting out very small, you know the typical part time
    scenario. I was wanting opinions on this toro mower http://www.toro.com/home/mowers/superrecycler/20057.html I know its a homeowner model but right now Im having a hard time justifying 1000+ for a commercial 21.
    I was hoping to find a dealer that would cut me a good deal this time of year. If I purchase a commercial 21 it will seriously eat into my new trimmer/blower/trailer and insurance money. Im pretty sure my trimmer (crappy homeowner Bolens ) and my blower (sad looking craftsman) will survive a part time season until I can purchase new next year. I have searched for that particular toro model but have found nothing on it in particular. Right now im looking at 5-8 lawns a week farely small lots.

  2. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    If possible try to find one of the three speed models even if it's homeowner grade and used. I think you'll have better luck this way but for 5-8 yards the machine you linked to will probably get you by. Any three speed Toro would be an excellent choice for reliability, mulching and especially bagging wet heavy grass.
  3. Greg313

    Greg313 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 61

    I started this part time this year using Toro model 20017, mowing 7 yards weekly. Overall it held up pretty well for being non-commercial. I decided to go with that model in order to buy a half-decent blower (Echo) PB-200. You may want to do the same. In all I spent a little over $500. I already had a Shindawia weedeater and added a HC-150 mid-season.
    It will work starting out but with the money that you make be SURE to put some back for a commercial mower. In my situtation I was unable to do that, all the money was used to help with bills (wife out on maternity leave). I might have to start this next year using the same mower (depending on how much I save this winter) but it will be replaced very quickly with a commercial 36. It will then be back up untill I can get a commercial 21 or another 36. I will still be part-time (thanks PM!!!) but will be able to cut 2-3 times as many yards and be able to upgrade to get everything in order to convert to full time in a few years (or still be part-time...time will tell)

    Keep in mind it is a homeowner model and it's not made for alot of work. Every week I made sure to tighten everything, change the oil, air filter & spark plug (monthly) and of course sharpen the blade(very important in thick St. Augustine and Bermuda) Also, make sure you us some thread lock on the fold down handle bolts and knob or replace it with a bolt and double nut it, those always seem to come loose and it's very hard to find those parts in tall grass, lesson learned.

    I also agree with Scott, get one with a 3-speed, the PP seems like it could have problems (I think I got lucky) I don't know your situation but use it starting out and use your profits to get that commercial mower as soon as possible!!!
  4. okgrassguy

    okgrassguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I was hoping to make enough to buy a commercial 21 or used walkbehind.
    If the super recycler will hold on long enough to buy a better mower. Im going to check out some toro dealers in a few weeks. I was told that some of them are selling off there commercial mowers for 100-200$ off. In that case I could get a proline. Good used mowers are few and far between around here, maybe im not looking in the right places.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I do not know your properties so I am only 1/2 qualified to answer but-

    We do not use a 21" mower on any residential lot. The smallest mower we use on them is a 36". We do use 21" units on some commercial places where we have small islands and on very steep hills in one HOA (lawnboy 2 cyl- very light). I have the proline 21" models and love them as far as cut and durability.
    But they they are very heavy.
    SO, if it were me I would look at saving the $600+ dollars. I would look at something around $300 or even used for less just to get you started. Than save every dollar you bring in for the 1st month and go out and get a 36" hydro unit. (many people like the quick 36 and I believe it is about the cheapest 36" hydro unit you can get).
    You now will have the ability to cut much more grass in the same amount of time and that means making more money per hour. You will also have a mower that is built for every day full time use.

    But as far as the mower that you are looking at- it is a good unit and will hold up better than most homeowner 21" units.
  6. twcw5804

    twcw5804 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I've mowed 10-13 yards the last two years with a Troy built and craftsman mowers. Toro non-commercial would be an upgrade for me.
  7. METRO 36

    METRO 36 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I agree with scott i started with a toro 3 speed used home owner grade. and i mowed next abought 20 account's the first month, 30 the second month,and 36 the third month before the gear box gave out. The mower i bought at a pawn shop for 75.00 dollar's it was an early 90 or late 80's model
    so it had been around a while. but they cut great.
  8. okgrassguy

    okgrassguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I think I will probably get the super recycler and save for a walkbehind, I was already considering a quick 36 based on a lot of good opinions on it. Plus the price makes it even more attractive.
  9. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    It might be wise to see if you can get a 36" through your gates if you have any. I and some of the other people here have run into places where only a 32"-34" cutter deck will work.
  10. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,716

    i would get a john deere over any toro model. you do not want the personal pace sys . it wont hold up to even light comm use. your best bet would be a used honda 3speed . these are very reliable and will hold up under comm use. tranmissions are the weak spot on all toro 21 even the proline

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